Lodging, and Leaving Fort Dix…

Here’s where I stayed at Fort Dix:

If it’s slightly messy, it’s because of me.  I’m slightly messy.  The room sleeps 12; six sets of bunk beds.  There’s little walls between the bunk sets made out of wall lockers, which are nice, heavy duty lockers that take locks.  There were few enough of us that each of us could occupy our own little bay, and no one was forced to take the dreaded top bunk.

After a few days, I had cleared all of the medical stations, and was sent to get an airline ticket.  Philadelphia to Baltimore.  No problem, I thought.  I went and told the First Sergeant, who about choked.

“What? Philly to Baltimore?  Who sent you there?”

I told him how I’d been sent to the travel office.  It took me a minute to understand his disbelief.  Mostly because my knowledge of east coast geography ain’t so good.  It would take an hour to get to Philly, I’d have to be an hour early to check in and clear security, and hour flight, and probably an hour ride to Walter Reed Medical Center.  And the ticket alone would cost over $600, not counting transport to and from the airport.  So, the First Sergeant made arrangements for me to cancel my ticket, and got me a shuttle straight to Walter Reed; it took about 3 hours.  So, it was faster and saved the taxpayers about $600.  You’re welcome, taxpayers!

I arrived alone.  Another individual mobilizing was not so quick to clear medical.  He’s over 40 (which calls for a more… “invasive” physical), is slightly overweight, and smokes like a chimney.  I, on the other hand, am under 40, have been losing weight, and don’t smoke.  He’s still at Fort Dix, having to go through some more medical tests.

Anyway, I’ve never been to Washington, D.C. before, so I’m pretty excited to have a weekend here.  I intend to take in Arlington Cemetary, and see the changing of the guard, and wander Capitol Hill.  However, I was crushed to learn that a key piece of Americana that I wanted to see, the great painting of Washington crossing the Delaware:

is kept in… New York City.  Oh, well, guess I’ll have to content myself with all the other monuments.

Even more exciting, my wife’s coming next weekend, so we’ll go take some monuments in then, too.  Top of the list: the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.  I’m really amped to see that last one, in particular.  When enlisting in the armed forces, one swears to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States.  And as an attorney, I spent literally years studying it.  Laying eyes on the actual document will be a real treat.  That is, if it’s the real one, and not a fake put out because Nicholas Cage stole the real one in that movie…

Pics and observations to follow.


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